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Poor Quality of Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy Images Has a Significant Negative Effect in the Diagnosis of Small Bowel Malignancy

Authors Yung DE, Plevris JN, Leenhardt R, Dray X, Koulaouzidis A

Received 19 May 2020

Accepted for publication 14 September 2020

Published 21 October 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 475—484


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Andreas M. Kaiser

Diana E Yung,1 John N Plevris,1 Romain Leenhardt,2 Xavier Dray,2 Anastasios Koulaouzidis1 On behalf of the ESGE Small Bowel Research Working Group

1Centre for Liver and Digestive Disorders, The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 2Sorbonne University, Endoscopy Unit, APHP Saint-Antoine Hospital, Paris, France

Correspondence: Anastasios Koulaouzidis
Endoscopy Unit, The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK

Background and Aims: Capsule endoscopy (CE) is a visual modality; hence, diagnosis relies on image quality. We studied the contribution of image parameters to visualization quality and their effect on diagnostic certainty of small bowel (SB) lesions.
Methods: Five clear CE images of common SB pathology – two vascular lesions, two inflammatory, one polyp – were processed for three image parameters to simulate poor SB conditions: opacity (color-matched to luminal content; 10– 90%, 10% increments); blurriness (radius 1– 10 pixels; one pixel increments); and contrast (− 50-50%; 10% increments). Nine expert readers evaluated whether images were adequate for diagnosis. Points where perception of image quality changed significantly were determined for each parameter. Three further sets of SBCE images (vascular, inflammatory, and neoplastic lesions; nine images/set) were processed for four points/parameters. Twenty experienced/expert CE readers reviewed these images.
Results: The negative effects of opacity in diagnostic certainty were mostly evident in images of neoplasia; images of vascular and inflammatory lesions were less affected. Similar results were observed with increasing blur radius, simulating movement, and poor focus. The proportions of readers finding vascular and inflammatory images adequate for diagnosis did not drop significantly at wider blur radii, while images of neoplasia were quickly deemed inadequate. Low contrast had a greater negative effect than high, most consistently in neoplastic lesions.
Conclusion: Poor visualization quality in all parameters affected mostly neoplastic lesions. Software to increase contrast and sharpen images can improve visualization quality; smart frame rate adaptation could improve the number of high-quality frames obtained. Thoroughness in SB cleansing is most important when there is a suspicion of neoplasia.

Keywords: capsule endoscopy, small bowel, image quality, diagnosis, neoplasia, software

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